Legal aid panels

Refugee law panel standards

Lawyers who represent legal aid clients must belong to the panel(s) for the type(s) of law they practice. Panel standards help ensure that legal aid clients receive high-quality services. The standards for each panel provide the experience and professional development requirements that lawyers must meet.

LAO's panel standards for refugee lawyers include:

  • General standards for lawyers conducting first-instance Refugee Protection Division (RDP) and immigration work.

  • Appellate standards for lawyers who litigate at the Refugee Appeal Division and Federal Court.

The standards apply to:

  • private bar lawyers
  • LAO staff lawyers
  • LAO staff paralegals
  • clinic staff on refugee pilot agreements.

Go to a list of approved refugee and immigration panel members: General Panel or Appellate Panel.

These lists are current as of Octoberr 15th, 2017 and is subject to change. For questions, please email

How to join a refugee panel

Refugee lawyers who want to apply to be on one of the refugee panels should download the refugee & immigration standard form. For further information, go to our refugee and immigration standards guidelines.

Some refugee lawyers, such as new calls or lawyers whose work raises quality concerns, will be given time to comply with certain conditions in order to meet panel standards.

Lawyers who require mentoring can work with:

  • a mentor from LAOs second chair program for private bar lawyers working on LAO-funded cases


  • an LAO-approved in-firm mentor, who works at the same firm as the applicant, in which case the mentor does not receive financial compensation for mentoring

Deadlines for applying

Applications due from refugee and immigration lawyers Applicants receive decision (six weeks after applying)
July 31, 2017 September 2017
October 31, 2017 December 2017
February 28, 2018 April 2018


LAO has developed the following materials to support panel standards implementation and high quality client service:


Refugee and immigration standards form

[PDF, 740 KB]

Get other materials for refugee lawyers.